Before The Dawn

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 9780715642092
Genre : Science
File Size : 88.14 MB
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When did language emerge? How did our ancestors break out of Africa and defeat the more physically powerful Neanderthals? How did human nature change in the 35,000 years between the emergence of fully modern humans and the first settlements? In the last three years a flood of new scientific findings driven by revelations discovered in the human genome has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our ancient ancestors. Nicholas Wade takes readers to the forefront of research in a sweeping and engrossing narrative, the first to reveal how genetic discoveries are helping to weave together the perspectives of archaeology, palaeontology, anthropology, linguistics, and many other fields. Before the Dawn marks a major advance in our understanding of human nature and origins.
Category: Science

Before The Dawn

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 110105283X
Genre : Science
File Size : 33.30 MB
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Nicholas Wade’s articles are a major reason why the science section has become the most popular, nationwide, in the New York Times. In his groundbreaking Before the Dawn, Wade reveals humanity’s origins as never before—a journey made possible only recently by genetic science, whose incredible findings have answered such questions as: What was the first human language like? How large were the first societies, and how warlike were they? When did our ancestors first leave Africa, and by what route did they leave? By eloquently solving these and numerous other mysteries, Wade offers nothing less than a uniquely complete retelling of a story that began 500 centuries ago.
Category: Science

Before The Dawn

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 1594200793
Genre : Science
File Size : 35.4 MB
Format : PDF
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In the first account of a flood of new research findings, an acclaimed New York Timesscience reporter tells the dramatic story of the lost ages of human history. In just the last few years an explosion of discoveries - driven by information from the human genome - has empowered researchers to address many long-standing questions about the deep human past. Nicholas Wade has drawn on the new findings to present the first portrait of a special and hitherto mysterious group of human ancestors - the ancestral human population that lived in Africa 50,000 years ago and from whom everyone in the world today is descended.
Category: Science

A Troublesome Inheritance

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 9780698163799
Genre : Science
File Size : 75.51 MB
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Drawing on startling new evidence from the mapping of the genome, an explosive new account of the genetic basis of race and its role in the human story Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right. And in fact, we know that populations have changed in the past few thousand years—to be lactose tolerant, for example, and to survive at high altitudes. Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution. For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well. Wade, the longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times, draws widely on the work of scientists who have made crucial breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution. The most provocative claims in this book involve the genetic basis of human social habits. What we might call middle-class social traits—thrift, docility, nonviolence—have been slowly but surely inculcated genetically within agrarian societies, Wade argues. These “values” obviously had a strong cultural component, but Wade points to evidence that agrarian societies evolved away from hunter-gatherer societies in some crucial respects. Also controversial are his findings regarding the genetic basis of traits we associate with intelligence, such as literacy and numeracy, in certain ethnic populations, including the Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews. Wade believes deeply in the fundamental equality of all human peoples. He also believes that science is best served by pursuing the truth without fear, and if his mission to arrive at a coherent summa of what the new genetic science does and does not tell us about race and human history leads straight into a minefield, then so be it. This will not be the last word on the subject, but it will begin a powerful and overdue conversation. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Science

The Faith Instinct

Author : Nicholas Wade
ISBN : 1101155671
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57.70 MB
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Noted science writer Nicholas Wade offers for the first time a convincing case based on a broad range of scientific evidence for the evolutionary basis of religion.
Category: Social Science

The 10 000 Year Explosion

Author : Gregory Cochran
ISBN : 9780786727506
Genre : Science
File Size : 48.41 MB
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Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years. Scientists have long believed that the “great leap forward” that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.
Category: Science

Prehistory

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9781780225814
Genre : History
File Size : 52.4 MB
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A brief and original prehistory of the world Prehistory covers human existence before written records, i.e. most of human existence. But it also refers to the discipline through which we scrutinize prehistoric times. PREHISTORY begins by looking at the discovery of a remote human past and the subsequent dramatic growth of the study of prehistory: early archaeology; geology; Darwin's ideas of evolution; cave paintings; fossil discoveries of human ancestors; museums and collections; radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis. Renfrew challenges the conventional assumption of an all-important 'human revolution' 40,000 years ago - when Homo Sapiens first appeared in Europe - and suggests that the key developments were much later. The author's case-studies range widely, from Orkney to the Balkans, from the Indus Valley to Peru, from Ireland to China, and provide fresh insights on landmark monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, Stonehenge and the sacrificial burial pyramids at Teotihuacan in Mexico. The book closes with a fascinating chapter on the transition from Prehistory to History, on early writing systems.
Category: History

Adam S Tongue

Author : Derek Bickerton
ISBN : 9781429930291
Genre : Science
File Size : 31.80 MB
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How language evolved has been called "the hardest problem in science." In Adam's Tongue, Derek Bickerton—long a leading authority in this field—shows how and why previous attempts to solve that problem have fallen short. Taking cues from topics as diverse as the foraging strategies of ants, the distribution of large prehistoric herbivores, and the construction of ecological niches, Bickerton produces a dazzling new alternative to the conventional wisdom. Language is unique to humans, but it isn't the only thing that sets us apart from other species—our cognitive powers are qualitatively different. So could there be two separate discontinuities between humans and the rest of nature? No, says Bickerton; he shows how the mere possession of symbolic units—words—automatically opened a new and different cognitive universe, one that yielded novel innovations ranging from barbed arrowheads to the Apollo spacecraft. Written in Bickerton's lucid and irreverent style, this book is the first that thoroughly integrates the story of how language evolved with the story of how humans evolved. Sure to be controversial, it will make indispensable reading both for experts in the field and for every reader who has ever wondered how a species as remarkable as ours could have come into existence.
Category: Science

A Natural History Of Vision

Author : Nicholas J. Wade
ISBN : 0262731290
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 85.32 MB
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This illustrated survey covers what Nicholas Wade calls the "observational era of vision," beginning with the Greek philosophers and ending with Wheatstone's description of the stereoscope in the late 1830s. This is the first history of vision to present extracts of the works of scholars, organized both topically and chronologically. In what has become the author's signature style, the book juxtaposes verbal and visual descriptions. Many of the more than three hundred illustrations are derived from engravings—of portraits of the scholars cited, as well as of scientific diagrams. Each portrait appears beside a significant quotation by the scholar and the source of the original illustration. The author's commentary provides the context for the quotations and traces the scientific development within each topic. The book is organized around the principal topics within the investigation of visual phenomena: light, color, subjective visual phenomena (such as afterimages and pattern distortions), motion, binocularity, space, and visual illusions.
Category: Psychology

Cro Magnon

Author : Brian Fagan
ISBN : 1608191672
Genre : History
File Size : 57.53 MB
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Cro-Magnons were the first fully modern Europeans-not only the creators of the stunning cave paintings at Lascaux and elsewhere, but the most adaptable and technologically inventive people that had yet lived on earth. The prolonged encounter between the Cro-Magnons and the archaic Neanderthals and between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago was one of the defining moments of history. The Neanderthals survived for some 15,000 years in the face of the newcomers, but were finally pushed aside by the Cro-Magnons' vastly superior intellectual abilities and cutting-edge technologies, which allowed them to thrive in the intensely challenging climate of the Ice Age. What do we know about this remarkable takeover? Who were the first modern Europeans and what were they like? How did they manage to thrive in such an extreme environment? And what legacy did they leave behind them after the cold millennia? The age of the Cro-Magnons lasted some 30,000 years-longer than all of recorded history. Cro-Magnon is the story of a little known, yet seminal, chapter of human experience.
Category: History